Make a Date: Regional Theatre

Richard Winsor as Tony and the cast of Saturday Night Fever - UK Tour. Pamela Raith Photography

Richard Winsor as Tony and the cast of Saturday Night Fever – UK Tour. Pamela Raith Photography

Fiona Horan updates you on regional theatre news from around the regions.

Disco drama tours UK

Saturday Night Fever – a new stage show based on the 70s hit film – will tour the UK this autumn starring Richard Winsor as Tony Manero, the role memorably played by John Travolta on screen.

The story is a celebration of the disco culture of the mid 70s, where the nightclub is Tony’s temporary escape from his dreary working-class existence.

Much of the film’s success was down to its fantastic soundtrack of songs by the Bee Gees including Stayin’ Alive, How Deep Is Your Love, Night Fever, Tragedy and More Than a Woman. This new musical promises these hit songs as well as 70’s favourites Boogie Shoes, Disco Inferno and others, and will feature new choreography and a group playing the Bee Gees live on stage.

Loosely based on the original film, this stage adaptation is by Robert Stigwood in collaboration with Bill Oakes.

Richard Winsor is a British actor and dancer known for his role in BBC’s Casualty and his frequent collaborations with famed choreographer Matthew Bourne.

Saturday Night Fever is touring from 30th August to 9th March 2019. Group rates vary by venue.

Destinations include Liverpool, Birmingham, Bristol, Glasgow, Edinburgh, Blackpool, Llandudno, Bradford, Cardiff, Manchester, Hull, Canterbury and Newcastle.

For further information, visit

Things that go bump in the night

A new stage chiller will be on tour from January next year.

The House on Cold Hill is adapted from a novel by crime writer Peter James, based on the author’s own experience living in a haunted house. This will be the fourth Peter James story to make it from the page to the stage, the others being Not Dead Enough, The Perfect Murder and Dead Simple. BAFTA nominated actor Joe McFadden, best known for television’s Heartbeat, Holby City and Strictly Come Dancing will star as Ollie Harcourt. The stage adaptation is by Shaun McKenna.

When the Harcourt family move into an old, dilapidated Georgian mansion in the Sussex countryside, they soon begin to suspect that they aren’t the only residents at Cold Hill…

The House on Cold Hill runs from 23rd January to 1st June, with further dates to be announced.

Destinations include Nottingham, Coventry, Malvern, Portsmouth, Newcastle, Hull, Leeds, Birmingham, Manchester, Cambridge and Glasgow.

Group rates vary by venue.

For further information, visit

Dancing Queen

2019 will see a new production of glittery musical Priscilla, Queen of the Desert – with Jason Donovan acting as a producer for the first time. He should know how to please an audience with this show, having performed in its original West End cast as well as two subsequent UK tours.

Based on the Oscar-winning film, this is the adventure of three friends aboard a battered old bus heading to Alice Springs to put on the show of a lifetime.

Priscilla, Queen of the Desert opens on the 5th September 2019 in Dartford and tours until 30th November 2019. Destinations include Bradford, Blackpool, Leicester, Edinburgh, Liverpool and Manchester.

Group rates vary by venue.

For further information, visit

Makeover for Mayflower

Southampton’s Mayflower Theatre has now re-opened after a major refurbishment.

The Mayflower is the largest theatre in the south of England, attracting 500,000 visitors a year, employing 230 staff and with a seating capacity of over 1600.

The refurbishment project has cost £7.5 million and has included new wider seats in the Stalls and Circle, re-painting and renovation of the auditorium, and the creation of better facilities for people with disabilities.

Discounts are available for groups of 10 or more on many shows.

For further information, telephone 02380 711811 or visit

Rebus returns

Fans of Ian Rankin’s Edinburgh detective John Rebus can see a brand new Rebus story this autumn, written exclusively for the stage by original author Ian Rankin and playwright Rona Munro.

Rebus: Long Shadows will star Charles Lawson, John Stahl and Cathy Tyson. The storyline follows Rebus in retirement when the daughter of a murder victim appears outside his flat and draws him back into the shadows of his former life. When Rebus becomes caught between two cases only one person can help him – the man he spent his career trying to arrest.

Rebus: Long Shadows is touring until 24th November. Destinations include Birmingham, Edinburgh, Nottingham, Manchester, Aberdeen, Malvern, and Guildford.

Group rates vary by venue.

For further information, visit

Two wicked ladies

Anita Dobson and Craig Revel Horwood will star in succession as cruel orphanage manager Miss Hannigan in next year’s UK tour of the musical Annie – the tale of an orphan in 1930s New York who is invited in for Christmas by a billionaire. Miss Hannigan and her brother wonder if they can turn this to their advantage…

Annie begins on 2nd February 2019 at Manchester Opera House, and tours until 6th July 2019.

Destinations include Bristol, Newcastle, Glasgow, Bradford, Southampton and Liverpool. Group discounts vary by venue.

For further information, visit
You can find the entire Make a Date feature inside the latest GTO Magazine.